Prozac: Wonder Pill or Killer Drug?

Prozac: Wonder Pill or Killer Drug?

Fourteen years ago, Eli Lilly and Company made a staggering step in prescription medicine. In January of 1988, Lilly and Company released the antidepressant Prozac. “Prozac “? a brand name for fluoxetine hydrochloride “? has been used by more than thirteen million people in the world” (Opler 26). This makes it the most widely prescribed antidepressant in the world. While Prozac has been called a miracle drug, because of all the people it has helped, it has also been denounced as a killer drug. There are many different advantages and disadvantages to taking Prozac as well as miscellaneous prescriptions. People use Prozac for diverse disorders. A person on Prozac also must go through three phases in order to be cleared of any signs of depression. While taking Prozac, treatment can be divided into three distinct phases: acute, continuation, and maintenance. Acute phase takes place during the early weeks of treatment. This treatment can last for 6 to 12 weeks and is used to control the disabling symptoms of depression and to help the patient function more normally in everyday activities (Hyman 64). Many patients see progress within 1 to 2 weeks, but it may take four weeks or more for treatment to be fully effective. If the patient shows little or no improvement during the acute phase, the doctor has to either change the dose of Prozac, change to a different antidepressant altogether, recommending psychotherapy or referring the patient to a specialist. If there is no improvement, the person with depression should remain committed in order to get better. If the medication does work, then the patient should feel much better by the end of the acute phase. The goal of the continuation phase is to prevent relapse (Hyman 65). Because the length of an episode of depression can vary, therapy may continue for four to nine months. Continuing to take medication maintains relief from the symptoms of depression and may prevent rel…


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